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Wednesday, 17 Jan 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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LittleFS: A New File-System For ARM Embedded Devices

Filed under
Linux

LittleFS is a lightweight file-system that's being developed for embedded systems.

LittleFS as implied by the name is intended to be a "little" file-system for embedded devices, in particular "Internet of Things" style platforms. LittleFS strives to be a fail-safe file-system that can work with minimal amounts of RAM/ROM, power-loss resilient, and supports wear-leveling for flash memory.

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MX Linux MX-17 Horizon - Shaping up beautifully

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Reviews

From an underdog to a kennel master. That's probably the best, most succinct way to describe MX Linux. While you still may be confused about its heritage, with words like Mepis and AntiX slipping in, it's one of the more refined Xfce distros around, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the last version, MX-16. As it turns out, I proudly crowned it the Best of Xfce 2017 distro. It also notched very high on the overall annual best-of competition.

Now, there's a new version out. I will first conduct the test on the old LG laptop, but now that I've managed to fix the read-only UEFI on my Lenovo G50 machine, I will conduct a second test on that laptop - provided everything works fine in this first review. So we have ancient hardware, Nvidia graphics, dual boot. Commence.

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Tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 To Try To Run Like Clear Linux

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Ubuntu

Even with the overhead of having both KPTI and Retpoline kernel support in place, our recent Linux distribution benchmarks have shown Intel's Clear Linux generally outperforming the more popular distributions. But if applying some basic performance tweaks, can Ubuntu 17.10 perform like Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks looking at a few factors.

In our forums there were recently some users attributing the Clear performance benefit to their CFLAGS and the distribution defaulting to the P-State "performance" governor rather than the "powersave" governor. It's true those are two of the ways this Intel open-source platform tries to deliver better out-of-the-box performance, but that is not all. Explained at ClearLinux.org, they also apply automatic feedback-driven optimizations (GCC FDO), function multi-versioning (FMV) to deliver optimized functions selected at run-time based upon the CPU micro-architecture being used, and various other approaches for trying to deliver the best out-of-the-box Linux performance that does include backporting various patches, etc. And, yes, hopefully this article can provide some motivation for Ubuntu and other distributions to become a bit more aggressive with their defaults to deliver a more optimized experience on installation.

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Also: Ubuntu Unity Remix Day 3: Unity Tweak Tool

Mozilla Development and Developers

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 59 Is Dropping GTK2 Support

    Now that Firefox's GTK3 support is finally into shape, Firefox 59 will be doing away with GTK2 tool-kit support.

  • Review of Igalia's Web Platform activities (H2 2017)

    Last september, I published a first blog post to let people know a bit more about Igalia’s activities around the Web platform, with a plan to repeat such a review each semester. The present blog post focuses on the activity of the second semester of 2017.

  • News flash: encrypted.google.com is not special in any way

    Once upon a time, Google dared to experiment with HTTPS encryption for their search instead of allowing all search data to go unencrypted through the wire. For this experiment, they created a new subdomain: encrypted.google.com was the address where your could get some extra privacy. What some people apparently didn’t notice: the experiment was successful, and Google rolled out HTTPS encryption to all of their domains. I don’t know why encrypted.google.com is still around, but there doesn’t seem to be anything special about it any more. Which doesn’t stop some people from imagining that there is.

Hands on With System76’s Beautiful Linux Distro Pop!_OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When I saw that System 76 launched their #TryPopOS campaign last month I knew this was the perfect opportunity to really put Pop!_OS through its paces. I am a proud owner of the Galago Pro, which I purchased the day they launched pre-orders this Spring and it has been my primary computer since then. I use it for everything from writing articles, to browsing the internet, to light gaming, and though the machine as its quirks I am beyond happy with it.

Back when I ordered the laptop Pop!_OS wasn’t announced yet so my laptop came with stock Ubuntu, which I promptly replaced with Ubuntu GNOME. Since then I have tried a couple different options including Elementary OS, Manjaro GNOME Edition, and most recently I have settled on KDE Neon.

Everything I have thrown at it has worked great on it so far, but now it is time to try something different. Here is my experience with System 76’s Pop!_OS.

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GCC 8.0 vs. LLVM Clang 6.0 On AMD EPYC

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

At the beginning of January I posted some early LLVM Clang 6.0 benchmarks on AMD EPYC while in this article is comparing the tentative Clang 6.0 performance to that of the in-development GCC 8.0. Both compilers are now into their feature freeze and this testing looked at the performance of generated binaries both for generic x86_64 as well as being tuned for AMD's Zen "znver1" microarchitecture.

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Android Leftovers

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Android

More Intel Catastrophes and Bricking of PCs Due to Intel's UEFI

Filed under
Hardware
Security

Intel is Full of Holes

Filed under
Hardware
Security
  • A Security Issue in Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT)
  • Backdoor In 30 Seconds: New Major AMT Security Flaw Is Here To Haunt Intel Laptops
  • Meltdown and Spectre FAQ: Crapification at Scale

    Yesterday, Yves posted a “primers on Meltdown and Spectre”, which included several explanations of the two bugs from different viewpoints; if you feel you don’t have a handle on them, please review it. Today, I want to give an overview of the two bugs. I will dig into the details of these two bugs in the form of a FAQ, and then I’ll open a discussion of the larger business and political economy issues raised in the form of a MetaFAQ. First, I should make one point: Meltdown is a bug; Specture is a class of bugs (or, if you prefer, a strategy).

    [...]

    What Are The Costs of the Meltdown and Spectre Bugs?

    A few billions.

  • Fixing Chipmageddon Will Slow Down Older Computers

    Microsoft has come out and said it: cures for the pervasive chip flaws Meltdown and Spectre are likely to dent the performance of your PC if it’s a few years old.

  • Intel needs to come clean about Meltdown and Spectre

    Intel hasn’t had the best of times recently. Meltdown and Spectre security flaws have helped reveal fundamental issues with processor designs over the past 20 years, and the software updates to protect PCs will have performance impacts. Even as I write this, it’s still not clear to anyone exactly how bad these performance impacts will be for older desktop systems, or how significant they’ll be to server-based cloud platforms. It’s all a bit of a mess, and Intel hasn’t helped with its lack of transparency. It’s time for Intel to stop hiding behind cleverly worded statements.

  • Intel details performance hit for Meltdown fix on affected processors
  • Keeping Spectre secret

    When Graz University of Technology researcher Michael Schwarz first reached out to Intel, he thought he was about to ruin the company’s day. He had found a problem with their chips, together with his colleagues Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, and Stefan Mangard. The vulnerability was both profound and immediately exploitable. His team finished the exploit on December 3rd, a Sunday afternoon. Realizing the gravity of what they’d found, they emailed Intel immediately.

  • Intel's telling some customers to avoid its fix for the Spectre and Meltdown attacks — because of a big bug
  • Everything running smoothly at the plant? *Whips out mobile phone* Wait. Nooo...

    The security of mobile apps that tie in with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems has deteriorated over the last two-and-a-half years, according to new research.

    A team of boffins from IOActive and IoT security startup Embedi said they had discovered 147 vulnerabilities in 34 of the most popular Android mobile apps for SCADA systems.

    Mobile applications are increasingly being used in conjunction with SCADA systems. The researchers warned these apps are "riddled with vulnerabilities that could have dire consequences on SCADA systems that operate industrial control systems".

The Top 10 Linux Distros You Never Heard About

Filed under
GNU
Linux
BSD

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the open-source community is littered with many distributions – some of which you might never get to hear about if you’re not connected to an affiliated party or happen to come across a reference ad.

Plus, it’s a new year and we have been dropping Top 10 (and sometimes higher) titles since it began so you shouldn’t be surprised that we are here with another one.

In case you missed it, we recently published an article on The Top 10 Linux Desktop Distros of 2017, and I thought it will be nice if we checked out a couple of distros that might not have made it to the limelight in 2017 but are still significant and will probably be of great use to our readers.

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Tiny module and SBC run Linux or Android on i.MX8M

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Android
Linux
Hardware

Variscite’s 55 x 30mm “DART-MX8M” showcases NXP’s 1.5GHz, quad-A53 i.MX8M SoC with up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, PCIe, and HDMI 2.0, plus an optional carrier that’s also sold as a “VAR-DT8MCustomBoard” SBC.

Variscite unveiled a “coming soon” DART-MX8M computer-on-module and VAR-DT8MCustomBoard carrier board/SBC that tap NXP’s new i.MX8M SoC. The DART-MX8M follows other NXP-based DART modules, such as the i.MX UL based DART-6UL, which in November received a clock rate upgrade to up to 900MHz.

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Debian vs. Ubuntu vs. CentOS vs. openSUSE vs. Clear Linux Post-Meltdown Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With Linux distributions being patched since last week's Meltdown and Spectre disclosure, here are benchmarks on some of the prominent distributions looking at their performance impact since being patched. Tested from an Intel Core i7 8700K system was CentOS, Clear Linux, Debian, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

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Wine 3.0 RC6

Filed under
Software
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 3.0-rc6 is now available.

  • Wine continues to mature with Wine 3.0 RC6

    The big Wine 3.0 is inching ever closer with the release of the sixth release candidate today with bug fixes.

    Since Wine is currently in a code-freeze, no new features are being pulled in so they can make the 3.0 release as stable as possible, which means it's not too exciting. Still, every software needs to go through a period of stability to ensure a solid foundation to continue improving features.

  • Wine 3.0-RC6 Released While Wine 3.0.0 Should Be Near

    The sixth weekly release candidate of the upcoming Wine 3.0 is now available for testing.

    Being into the code freeze since the beginning of December, Wine 3.0-RC6 just continues the bug-fixing train. Wine 3.0-RC6 has a total of 14 known fixes ranging from Valgrind memory fixes to a Powerpoint 2017/2010 slideshow problem.

*buntu 17.04 End Of Life and *buntu 17.10.1

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Has Reached End of Life, Upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 Now

    As of today, January 13, 2018, the Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system has reached end of life and it's no longer supported by Canonical with security and software updates.

    Released last year on April 13, Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) was the last version of the popular operating system to ship with the Unity 7 desktop environment by default. It was powered by the Linux 4.10 kernel series, Mesa 17.0 graphics stack, and X.Org Server 1.19 display server.

  • Xubuntu 17.04 End Of Life

    On Saturday 13th January 2018, Xubuntu 17.04 goes End of Life (EOL). For more information please see the Ubuntu 17.04 EOL Notice.

    We strongly recommend upgrading to the current regular release, Xubuntu 17.10.1, as soon as practical. Alternatively you can download the current Xubuntu release and install fresh.

  • Xubuntu 17.10.1 Release

    Following the recent testing of a respin to deal with the BIOS bug on some Lenovo machines, Xubuntu 17.10.1 has been released. Official download sources have been updated to point to this point release, but if you’re using a mirror, be sure you are downloading the 17.10.1 version.

    No changes to applications are included, however, this release does include any updates made between the original release date and now.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • GTK's Vulkan Renderer Will Now Let You Pick The GPU For Rendering

    One of the features exciting us the most about GTK4 is the Vulkan renderer that will make its premiere. This Vulkan renderer continues getting worked into shape for GTK+ 4.0.

    The most recent addition to this Vulkan renderer is a means to allow specifying a device (GPU) to use for rendering, in the event of having multiple Vulkan graphics processors on the same system.

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Patched Against Meltdown/Spectre, Adopts LibreOffice 6.0

    openSUSE Project reports today through Douglas DeMaio that the openSUSE Tumbleweed software repositories have been flooded this week by four new snapshots that brought updated components and other improvements.

    According to the developer, much of the efforts of the openSUSE Tumbleweed's maintainers were focused this week on patching the recently unearthed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that put billions of devices at risk of attacks by allowing unprivileged attackers to steal your sensitive data from memory.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, December 2017
  • Debian/TeX Live 2017.20180110-1 – the big rework

    In short succession a new release of TeX Live for Debian – what could that bring? While there are not a lot of new and updated packages, there is a lot of restructuring of the packages in Debian, mostly trying to placate the voices that the TeX Live packages are getting bigger and bigger and bigger (which is true). In this release we have introduce two measures to allow for smaller installations: optional font package dependencies and downgrade of the -doc packages to suggests.

Linux in Cars and Watches

Filed under
Linux
  • Here’s every company developing self-driving car tech at CES 2018

    Then there’s a fleet of companies with new interfaces to facilitate how you interact with your car (human-machine interaction, or HMI – because, of course, there’s an acronym), as well as a small armada working on automotive-grade Linux, which pretty much everyone seems to think is going to be at the heart of every self-driving vehicle someday. Sorry, Windows.

  • Verizon now rolling out Gear S3 update with Tizen 3.0 and battery bug fix

    Verizon, one of the big mobile and data wireless carriers in the US, is currently rolling out a new software update for the Gear S3 and Gear S3 Frontier smartwatches. The updates are for Tizen 3.0.0.1 and, from the feedback we’ve received, it looks like the updates also contain the recent battery bug fix that was released by Samsung.

Servers: Concurrency, Purism, InSpec, Kubernetes, Docker/Containers

Filed under
Server
  • Thinking Concurrently: How Modern Network Applications Handle Multiple Connections

    The idea behind a process is fairly simple. A running program consists of not only executing code, but also data and some context. Because the code, data and context all exist in memory, the operating system can switch from one process to another very quickly. This combination of code + data + context is known as a "process", and it's the basis for how Linux systems work.

    When you start your Linux box, it has a single process. That process then "forks" itself, such that two identical processes are running. The second ("child") process reads new code, data and context ("exec"), and thus starts running a new process. This continues throughout the time that a system is running. When you execute a new program on the command line with & at the end of the line, you're forking the shell process and then exec'ing your desired program in its place.

  • New Purist Services – Standard Web Services Done Ethically

    When you sign up for a communication service, you are typically volunteering to store your personal, unencrypted data on someone else’s remote server farm. You have no way of ensuring that your data is safe or how it is being used by the owner of the server. However, online services are incredibly convenient especially when you have multiple devices.

  • Automated compliance testing with InSpec

    Don't equate compliance through certification with security, because compliance and security are not the same. We look at automated compliance testing with InSpec for the secure operation of enterprise IT.

  • How the Kubernetes Certification Ensures Interoperability

    Dan Kohn, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has called the launch of the new Kubernetes service provider certification program the most significant announcement yet made by the Foundation around the open source container orchestration engine.

    On this new episode of The New Stack Makers from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2017, we’ll learn more from Kohn and William Denniss, a product manager at Google, about how the program can help ensure interoperability and why that’s so important.

  • Container Structure Tests: Unit Tests for Docker Images

    Usage of containers in software applications is on the rise, and with their increasing usage in production comes a need for robust testing and validation. Containers provide great testing environments, but actually validating the structure of the containers themselves can be tricky. The Docker toolchain provides us with easy ways to interact with the container images themselves, but no real way of verifying their contents. What if we want to ensure a set of commands runs successfully inside of our container, or check that certain files are in the correct place with the correct contents, before shipping?

  • Prometheus vs. Heapster vs. Kubernetes Metrics APIs

    In this blog post, I will try to explain the relation between Prometheus, Heapster, as well as the Kubernetes metrics APIs and conclude with the recommended way how to autoscale workloads on Kubernetes.

  • Google Introduces Open Source Framework For Testing Docker Images

    Google has announced a new framework designed to help developers conduct unit tests on Docker container images. 

    The Container Structure Test gives enterprises a way to verify the structure and contents of individual containers to ensure that everything is as it should be before shipping to production, the company said in the company’s Open Source blog Jan. 9. 

    Google has been using the framework to test containers internally for more than a year and has released it publicly because it offers an easier way to validate the structure of Docker containers than other approaches, the company said.

Linux Foundation's Work on SPDX and Work for Microsoft

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
  • SPDX clears confusion around software licenses

    Around this time every year, our minds turn to copyright. Or maybe they turn more to copyright. After all, open source works because of copyright law. As you may already know, copyright laws give the authors of works the exclusive right to copy (among other things) their work. These rights attach as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible medium (written down, saved to disk, etc.). So the rights that open source licenses grant rely on copyright law.

    But what rights are specifically granted? That depends on which license the developer selects. Most projects use one of a few standard licenses, but they're not always clearly communicated. For example, a project may be released under "the GNU General Public License (GPL)." But which version? And can the recipient choose a later version if they wish?

    The Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) is a Linux Foundation project to help reduce the ambiguity of software by defining standards for reporting information. The license is one such piece of information. SPDX provides a format for listing the specific license variant and version that applies to a software package. With over 300 licenses, you're likely to find the one you use. The License List contains a human-friendly name, a short name, and a link to the full license text. SPDX also provides guidelines for matching the text of a license file to the official text of the license.

  • The Linux Foundation announces Linux on Azure training course to speed with Linux and vice versa

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced on Thursday the availability of a new training course, LFS205 – Administering Linux on Azure.

    A large number of the virtual machines running in Azure are utilizing the Linux operating system. Both Linux and Azure professionals should make sure they know how to manage Linux workloads in an Azure environment as this trend is likely to continue.

  • The Linux Foundation launches 'Administering Linux on Azure' training course

    Linux is very much mainstream nowadays. What was once viewed as a hobby and niche project, is transforming the world. Many of the world's servers are running Linux-based operating systems. Hell, the most popular mobile operating system on the planet, Android, is Linux-based. Even closed-source champion Microsoft is embracing Linux by integrating it into Windows 10 and offering it on its Azure platform.

  • 4 Days Left to Submit Your Proposal for Open Networking Summit NA 2018

    The call for proposals deadline is quickly approaching! With more than 2000 attendees expected at this year’s event, submit before Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 11:59pm PST to share your ideas and expertise with the open networking community.

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Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Ends with $2 Million

Librem 5 was successfully crowdfunded about two weeks ago when it surpassed its goal of $1.5 million, but the campaign continued to run, and now it appears to have gathered half million dollars more, ending with $2 million, which we believe is more than enough to build world's first truly free mobile device. Powered by PureOS, Purism's own GNU/Linux distribution based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system, but focused on offering users a privacy-focused and more secure desktop solution, Librem 5 will be using KDE's Plasma Mobile and GNOME's GNOME Shell user interfaces, along with powerful open source software. Read more

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Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Alberto Bullo

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